Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Azerbaijan: Air Force chief shot dead - car under surveillance for several days

The air force chief of Azerbaijan, has been shot dead outside his home on Wednesday, officials said.

General-Lieutenant Rail Rzayev was the most senior official to have been killed in Azerbaijan

Reuters reports "t approximately 8 a.m. (0400 GMT) at the entrance to his home the head of the air force and missile defence system was shot in the head and later died of his wounds in hospital," a source in the Interior Ministry said.

Reuters also reports that according to preliminary information, Rzayev's car had been under surveillance for several days.

Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its territory and must support some 600,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, and the government has been accused of authoritarianism.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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